I was giving EBay my usual morning once over and came across this pipe. What interested me about it was that I have a pipe very similar to it but stamped Penthouse rather than Clubhouse. A bit of research showed that both were made by GBD and were a part of their chairleg stem pipes. Looking at them in comparison to other GBD chairleg pipes that I have I can see that these may have been a seconds line of their pipes (though I am not certain of that). The ball on the chairleg of both the Penthouse and the Clubhouse is not consistently the same size around the edges. It also had some finishing scratches that never were sanded out. I liked the look of this one from the photos so I went for it and won the auction. It is stamped Clubhouse over Made in England on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped London England over 335. The pictures below were the ones posted by the seller. The pipe looked to be in excellent shape. The grain is quite nice. It looked like one that would not take a lot of work to get it in shape.
When the pipe arrived here in Canada the bowl was in great shape. The bowl only needed a light ream and clean. The shank was clean and the stem was clean inside. This would be an easy cleanup in terms of the briar. The stem was another story altogether. It was far more oxidized than the EBay pictures showed. The next four pictures show what the pipe looked like when I took it out of the box. These chairleg stems are a pain to clean up and get the oxidation out of all of the grooves. I knew that this one would prove to be a challenge.
I lightly reamed the bowl and wiped it down with a soft cloth and oil soap. It cleaned up nicely. I coated it with some carnauba wax and then put it aside. I dropped the stem in a soak of Oxyclean to soften the oxidation. I would need all the help I could muster to get the oxidation off of this one. Once I took it out of the soak the stem needed to be sanded. I used medium grit sandpaper on a foam pad to allow me to get into the grooves and the sharp edges. Once I had the initial sanding down I wiped the stem down with a soft cotton cloth dampened with alcohol. I then continued the sanding process with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I finished with the pads and then scrubbed the stem with Maguiar’s Scratch polish. I gave it several repeated rub downs with the scratch polish and then progressed through the remaining micromesh pads from 3200-12,000 grits. The finished stem is pictured in the four pictures below. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and let it sit. After it dried you can see the areas that still need to be worked over on the stem.
The stem top and bottom are clean and fresh. The underside of the chairleg portion of the stem is quite clean and free of oxidation. The sides and the top of the chairleg portion still need more work. I then sanded these once again with the sponge backed medium grit sandpaper. I worked through the grits of micromesh from 1500-12,000 again. I coated the stem with another coat of Obsidian Oil. Once it dried I rubbed it down and then buffed it with White Diamond. It was significantly better so I took it back to the work table and scrubbed it down with Maguiar’s another time. Each time I do this I can see how much oxidation come off by the brown on the cotton scrubbing pad. This time the pad was relatively white when I finished the polishing. I gave the whole pipe a buff with White Diamond for a final time and then coated it with several coats of carnauba wax. Here is the finished pipe.